Glider kit vs New truck

Discussion in 'Ask An Owner Operator' started by 01blackz28, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. rsconsulting

    rsconsulting Light Load Member

    Apr 30, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Thanks guys - I DO understand, the primary reason for most, to do a glider - is to get a new BODY, with a Pre-EGR motor (albeit rebuilt/reman).

    I kinda like the Volvo's myself (versus the Freights/Petes), though the Coronado gliders are pretty sweet. Again - one mans hottie, is another mans dog.

    Personally, despite the issues with the 07/08 EGR stuff - I believe the newer EGR/DPF/SCR motors are a little less problematic - though more (potentially) maintenance intensive.

    Also understand that the Glides "escape" the FET - and most folks are in it for the "long run" (versus looking to "recapture" investment on resale).

    Being that I AM a "Volvo Fan" (go ahead and hate on me), if one could build a 780, with a pre-egr-cummins, I'd be a little more interested than I am in a Freight or Pete (in a similar price range).

    Sorry for putting my $.02 in - it wasn't for lack of understanding - either on the financial or Emissions front.

    Just adding my comments to the discussion (and regretting doing so at this point)...

  2. Cowpie1

    Cowpie1 Road Train Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kellogg, IA
    Yeah, it would take a lot of green to bypass all the emissions stuff on top of the inflated price of a new emissions truck. And parts alone are killer on them. The typical VG turbo is just under $4000 plus core charge for something like an ISX. I can put on a Borg Warner 171702 turbo on my pre-egr Series 60 for a whopping $700 with no core charge. With the right tweaking, I will have my truck in 8 mpg territory on a regular basis. Easy to find quality, low cost parts for the Series 60. Easy to work on. So not only does the glider thing cost substantially less to buy, it is substantially less to operate and maintain. One has to factor that into any working of the numbers. I can settle for a limited selection of truck models.

    And as I stated earlier, I don't believe there is enough freight in or out of CA that would pay enough to go beyond making up the difference in the initial and life cycle costs of the truck if I went with a new emission truck compared to this glider. Fleets have a different operation and for them it may work out fine.

    And those that think an emission truck is the way to go and chose to do CA, I will not be competing for your freight!! Good thing, right? We all win!! Besides, I operate primarily within a 500 mile radius of Central Iowa. Shorter hauls pay better, I am home a couple times a week, off on weekends and holidays, and two or more weeks off a year. Grossed over $194K last year, netted over $70K (not stellar for NYC or San Francisco, but high cotton living in Iowa). Nope, California has nothing to offer.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
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  3. rollin coal

    rollin coal Road Train Member

    Mar 29, 2008
    Jfaulk.. Understood, but that was always a big plus in the past. Much lower cost and no excise tax. Thanks to ridiculous gov't mandates it's a wash now. I'm like you though,glider is what I'd get too regardless.
  4. rico750

    rico750 Bobtail Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    agreed! i dont drive CA so i dont worry about that either. here is where i got mine and i sure love it!
  5. Cowpie1

    Cowpie1 Road Train Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Kellogg, IA
    I took a look at Fitzgerald early on. My only problem with them is they are not a FL dealer and don't have direct access into the FL spec'ing program like a dealer does. I was able to tweak 16 pages of spec sheets with the FL dealer I went with, Harrison Truck Center, clear down to what brand of axle seals I wanted in the axles, what hubs, what brand of slack adjusters, etc. And I could custom out the interior exactly like I wanted it. Even had the undercarriage painted to what I wanted. Everything that can be done with FL's spec'ing program with a new emission truck, was available to me in spec'ing out my glider.

    Now, Fitz does a great job, don't get me wrong. I wanted more flexibility that they didn't offer. Fitz is probably the largest player in gliders, but Harrison is right behind them. Harrison is doing 6-7 a week right now. And, for convenience to me, they are just a short ways from my house. I didn't have to run all the way to TN to do a truck. And Harrison had all the regular dealer access to financing unlike Fitz, and if I wanted to, do a trade in on my present ride, again, unlike Fitz. And Harrison delivers the completed truck to my front door.

    As for pricing, I really doubt, considering the spec's I put into this one, that Fitz could beat the price. I did a little comparison shopping early on, and Fitz didn't have anything to offer in pricing. If Fitz has exactly what a person wants, or that person likes what Fitz already has on the lot, it might be a better deal. I have had to wait since late February for mine to be delivered. FL is really backed up building them. But since I got exactly, to the T, the spec's I wanted, it is worth the wait.
    SHC and lonelyswmtrucker Thank this.
  6. pigletvcw

    pigletvcw Bobtail Member

    Aug 6, 2012
    Being the owner of a Freightliner Glider kit I would like to bring up a problem I just dealt with... My glider kit came out of the parts department like all freightliner kits do.... Last year I spent $32,000 at my freightliner on a custom Cummings N14 engine, for those who don't know the only emissions you have to pass is the ones established on the truck that you are making into the glider kit, for me it was a 1982 freightliner. With that in mind 5 weeks down to get the parts special ordered in and the engine built... Replacing any part that could possibly breakdown in the foreseeable future. I.E. fuel pump, compressor, alternator, turbo, all new hoses... etc... Before I started this endeavor I was assured the I would have 100,000 miles of coverage.... just before the coverage ran out I had a failure of injector #5 and cracked rocker. I called up my freightliner and was told to take it to the nearest shop which ended up being Fargo, Nd.... After diagnosis was told the news, explained that it was under warranty to get the parts... after locating the parts and getting them delivered and put in was told that the injector in question was not stamped by cummings as a re conned part... they refused to do the warranty work. it cost right at $2000.. out of my pocket... I contacted my freightliner again who assured me that they would push through the warranty and get me my money back.. after 5 weeks of getting no answers I called freightliner in Portland to launch a complaint and was told very curtly that freightliner does not support glider truck kits for they are not assembled on their lines... that the only recourse I had was what ever my freightliner decided they wanted to do..... make sure you have in writing what is and is not covered... I am very disappointed with all this... I have been a die hard freightliner owner for many years and my husband for 30... makes you rethink spending your money.
    As of the date of this post am still waiting for reimbursement
  7. Les2

    Les2 Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    kicked back in my lazyboy...
    Your issue is with Cummins not Freightliner.... Sorry! Although from what you said Freightliner is trying to help you, but they don't own Cummins.

    My uncle had an issue with Cummins warranty also. He bought a used IH with an N14. Got the extra warranty, for an extra price, to find out it was basically worthless when he had injector/head issues. He ended up losing that truck over that whole deal.

    Also the emissions you have to comply with is the year of the motor not the year of the truck. Otherwise it would be pointless to build a glider.
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  8. fireba11

    fireba11 Heavy Load Member

    Jul 30, 2007
    Tracy City, TN
    Just curious.....does the core engine and transmission have to be the same year as the one you want to install? Also, will the rears from a 1999 bolt up to a 2012 glider?
  9. special-k

    special-k Medium Load Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    Southern Ontario Canada
    My new boss has done a couple gliders so I've been quizzing him a little. I think the engine has to be from the same family. Meaning you can't trade in a C-13 and get a C-15. The same with the trans 18 for 18. He said with his freightliner he bought rear ends out of another freightliner and supplied them with that VIN and the glider frame was drilled correctly for his suspension hanger,shocks etc. I see they have a couple Coronado gliders there and the the hangers are already on it. I'm assuming the told them what model of freightliner rear suspension they were using and they matched it up.
    fireba11 Thanks this.
  10. Les2

    Les2 Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    kicked back in my lazyboy...
    Well I know this for fact that from the early 90's to current the hangers are the same. The only time there might be a difference is if you was installing a suspension from a different maker.
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